Ateh Wilson wins 2012 Siddle-Marsden award
PASA announces Ateh Wilson as 2012 winner of the Siddle-Marsden award
PASA is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2012 Siddle-Marsden award for commitment to excellence in primate care and conservation – Mr. Ateh Wilson of Limbe Wildlife Center (LWC). Ateh accepted the award during the 2012 PASA managers workshop in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ateh Wilson joined the LWC in 1995 when he was 24 years old. He immediately began working with the orphan western lowland gorillas and the chimpanzees that had been brought into the LWC. To this day Wilson has continued to work every day with the great apes and has since become a highly professional great ape keeper.
But it is Ateh’s dedication to conservation education that truly sets him apart. After working at the LWC for 5 years Ateh single-handedly set up the Education Department, often volunteering his time when funding ran short.
The programs Ateh set up include a weekly Nature’s Club, where an an average of 200 registered school children attend lectures, watch video presentations and play games coordinated by Ateh in the new education facility situated on site at the LWC.
The school outreach program is the means by which the LWC can reach students who live further a field and who can’t attend the Nature’s Club. Thirteen schools are selected in each trimester and the education team, headed by Ateh, visits each one every two weeks. At the end of the trimester all the club members from all four schools are brought to the LWC itself for a field trip.
The aim of all of Ateh’s education programs is simple: to inspire in local people an interest about the natural world and to raise awareness of the specific conservation issues that are affecting Cameroonian wildlife. Ateh places emphasis on educating people about the negative effects of the bush meat and pet trades, and promoting the use of alternative sources of protein.
Since the year 2000, when Ateh developed the LWC’s Education Department, his programs have reached many thousands of people, primarily young students whose responsibility it will be in the near future to protect the fragile ecosystems of Cameroon. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, the programs are anything but dry and boring and Ateh’s enthusiasm for his teaching is infectious and inspiring. Ateh Wilson clearly has a gift for making learning fun and informative!